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Craigslist – Wikipedia
Craigslist reenshot of the main page on January 26, 2008Type of businessPrivately held companyType of siteClassifieds, forumsAvailable inEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, PortugueseFounded1995; 26 years ago (incorporated 1999)HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U. S. Area served570 cities in 70 countriesFounder(s)Craig NewmarkKey peopleJim Buckmaster (CEO)ServicesWeb communicationsRevenue US$694 million (2016)Net income US$500 million (2016)Employees50 (2017)URL2]Launched1995; 26 years agoCurrent statusActiveWritten inPerl
Craigslist (stylized as craigslist) is an American classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community service, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.
Craig Newmark began the service in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area. It became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. It started expanding to other U. and Canadian cities in 2000, and now covers 70 countries.
In March 2008, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese became the first non-English languages Craigslist supported.  As of August 9, 2012, over 700 cities and areas in 70 countries had Craigslist sites.  Some Craigslist sites cover large regions instead of individual metropolitan areas—for example, the U. states of Delaware and Wyoming, the Colorado Western Slope, the California Gold Country, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are among the locations with their own Craigslist sites.  Craigslist sites for some large cities, such as Los Angeles, also include the ability for the user to focus on a specific area of a city (such as central Los Angeles).
Having observed people helping one another in friendly, social, and trusting communal ways on the Internet via the WELL, MindVox and Usenet, and feeling isolated as a relative newcomer to San Francisco, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark decided to create something similar for local events.  In early 1995, he began an email distribution list to friends. Most of the early postings were submitted by Newmark and were notices of social events of interest to software and Internet developers living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Soon, word of mouth led to rapid growth. The number of subscribers and postings grew rapidly. There was no moderation and Newmark was surprised when people started using the mailing list for non-event postings.  People trying to get technical positions filled found that the list was a good way to reach people with the skills they were looking for. This led to the addition of a jobs category. User demand for more categories caused the list of categories to grow. The initial technology encountered some limits, so by June 1995 Majordomo had been installed and the mailing list “Craigslist” resumed operations. Community members started asking for a web interface. Newmark registered “”, and the website went live in 1996. 
In the fall of 1998, the name “List Foundation” was introduced and Craigslist started transitioning to the use of this name. In April 1999, when Newmark learned of other organizations called “List Foundation”, the use of this name was dropped. Craigslist incorporated as a private for-profit company in 1999.  Around the time of these events, Newmark realized the site was growing so fast that he could stop working as a software engineer and devote his full attention to running Craigslist. By April 2000, there were nine employees working out of Newmark’s San Francisco apartment. 
In January 2000, current CEO Jim Buckmaster joined the company as lead programmer and CTO. Buckmaster contributed the site’s multi-city architecture, search engine, discussion forums, flagging system, self-posting process, homepage design, personals categories, and best-of-Craigslist feature. He was promoted to CEO in November 2000. 
The website expanded into nine more U. cities in 2000, four in 2001 and 2002 each, and 14 in 2003. On August 1, 2004, Craigslist began charging $25 to post job openings on the New York and Los Angeles pages. On the same day, a new section called “Gigs” was added, where low-cost and unpaid jobs can be posted free.
The site serves more than 20 billion page views per month, putting it in 72nd place overall among websites worldwide and 11th place overall among websites in the United States (per on June 28, 2016), with more than 49. 4 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone (per on January 8, 2010). With more than 80 million new classified advertisements each month, Craigslist is the leading classifieds service in any medium.
The site receives more than 2 million new job listings each month, making it one of the top job boards in the world.  The 23 largest U. cities listed on the Craigslist home page collectively receive more than 300, 000 postings per day just in the “for sale” and “housing” sections as of October 2011.  The classified advertisements range from traditional buy/sell ads and community announcements to personal ads.
In 2009, Craigslist operated with a staff of 28 people. 
Financials and ownership
In December 2006, at the UBS Global Media Conference in New York, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster told Wall Street analysts that Craigslist had little interest in maximizing profit, and instead preferred to help users find cars, apartments, jobs and dates. 
Craigslist’s main source of revenue is paid job ads in select American cities. The company does not formally disclose financial or ownership information. Analysts and commentators have reported varying figures for its annual revenue, ranging from $10 million in 2004, $20 million in 2005, and $25 million in 2006 to possibly $150 million in 2007.  Fortune has described their revenue model as “quasi-socialist”, citing their focus on features for users regardless of profitability. Eric Baker of StubHub has described the site as a “potential gold mine of revenue, if only it would abandon its communist manifesto. “
On August 13, 2004, Newmark announced on his blog that auction giant eBay had purchased a 25% stake in the company from a former employee.  Some fans of Craigslist expressed concern that this development would affect the site’s longtime non-commercial nature. As of April 2012, there have been no substantive changes to the usefulness, or the non-advertising nature of the site; neither banner ads, nor charges for a few services provided to businesses.
The company was believed to be owned principally by Newmark, Buckmaster and eBay (the three board members). eBay owned approximately 25%, and Newmark is believed to own the largest stake. 
In April 2008, eBay announced it was suing Craigslist to “safeguard its four-year financial investment”. eBay claimed that in January 2008, Craigslist executives took actions that “unfairly diluted eBay’s economic interest by more than 10%”.  Craigslist filed a counter-suit in May 2008 to “remedy the substantial and ongoing harm to fair competition” that Craigslist claimed was constituted by eBay’s actions as Craigslist shareholders; the company claimed that it had used its minority stake to gain access to confidential information, which it then used as part of its competing service Kijiji. 
On June 19, 2015, eBay Inc. announced that it would divest its stake back to Craigslist for an undisclosed amount, and settle its litigation with the company. The move came shortly before eBay’s planned spin-off of PayPal, and an effort to divest other units to focus on its core business. 
The Swedish luxury marketplace website received a lawsuit filed on July 11, 2012 which among unspecified damages also asked for a complete shutdown of  As a consequence, the young company was forced to rename to JamesEdition.
As of 2012, mashup sites such as and were overlaying Craigslist data with Google Maps and adding their own search filters to improve usability. In June 2012, Craigslist changed its terms of service to disallow the practice. In July 2012, Craigslist filed a lawsuit against  Following the shutdown of, some users complained that the service was useful to them and therefore should have remained intact. 
In December 2019, Craigslist introduced a platform for iOS and a beta version on Android. 
Over the years Craigslist has become a very popular online destination for arranging for dates and sex.  The personals section allows for postings that are for “strictly platonic”, “dating/romance”, and “casual encounters”. 
The site is considered particularly useful by lesbians and gay men seeking to make connections, because of the service’s free and open nature and because of the difficulty of otherwise finding each other in more conservative areas. 
In 2005, San Francisco Craigslist’s men seeking men section was attributed to facilitating sexual encounters and was the second most common correlation to syphilis infections.  The company has been pressured by San Francisco Department of Public Health officials, prompting Jim Buckmaster to state that the site has a very small staff and that the public “must police themselves”.  The site has, however, added links to San Francisco City Clinic and STD forums. 
On March 22, 2018, Craigslist discontinued its “Personals” section in the United States in response to the passing of the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA), which removes Section 230 safe harbours for interactive services knowingly involved in illegal sex trafficking. The service stated that
US Congress just passed HR 1865, ‘FOSTA’, seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully. Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness! 
Adult services controversy
Craigslist website as it appeared on September 4, 2010, with black censored box in place of Adult Services
Advertisements for “adult” (previously “erotic”) services were initially given special treatment, then closed entirely on September 4, 2010, following a controversy over claims by state attorneys general that the advertisements promoted prostitution. 
In 2002, a disclaimer was put on the “men seeking men”, “casual encounters”, “erotic services”, and “rants and raves” boards to ensure that those who clicked on these sections were over the age of 18, but no disclaimer was put on the “men seeking women”, “women seeking men” or “women seeking women” boards. As a response to charges of discrimination and negative stereotyping, Buckmaster explained that the company’s policy is a response to user feedback requesting the warning on the more sexually explicit sections, including “men seeking men”. 
On May 13, 2009, Craigslist announced that it would close the erotic services section, replacing it with an adult services section to be reviewed by Craigslist employees. This decision came after allegations by several U. states that the erotic services ads were being used for prostitution. 
On September 4, 2010, Craigslist closed the adult services section of its website in the United States. The site initially replaced the adult services page link with the word “censored” in white-on-black text. The site received criticism and complaints from attorneys general that the section’s ads were facilitating prostitution and child sex trafficking. 
The adult services section link was still active in countries outside of the U.  Matt Zimmerman, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said, “Craigslist isn’t legally culpable for these posts, but the public pressure has increased and Craigslist is a small company. ” Brian Carver, attorney and assistant professor at UC Berkeley, said that legal threats could have a chilling effect on online expression. “If you impose liability on Craigslist, YouTube and Facebook for anything their users do, then they’re not going to take chances. It would likely result in the takedown of what might otherwise be perfectly legitimate free expression. “
On September 8, 2010, the “censored” label and its dead link to adult services were completely removed. 
Craigslist announced on September 15, 2010, that it had closed its adult services in the United States; however, it defended its right to carry such ads. Free speech and some sex crime victim advocates criticized the removal of the section, saying that it threatened free speech and that it diminished law enforcement’s ability to track criminals. However, the removal was applauded by many state attorneys general and some other groups fighting sex crimes. Craigslist said that there is some indication that those who posted ads in the adult services section are posting elsewhere. Sex ads had cost $10 initially and it was estimated they would have brought in $44 million in 2010 had they continued.  In the four months following the closure, monthly revenue from sex ads on six other sites (primarily Backpage) increased from $2. 1 to $3. 1 million, partly due to price increases. 
The company makes efforts to fight prostitution and sex trafficking, and in 2015, Craig Newmark received an award from the FBI for cooperation with law enforcement to fight human trafficking. 
On December 19, 2010, after pressure from Ottawa and several provinces, Craigslist closed ‘Erotic Services’ and ‘Adult Gigs’ from its Canadian website, even though prostitution was not itself illegal in Canada at the time. 
When the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act was signed into law on April 11, 2018, Craigslist chose to close its “Personals” section within all US domains to avoid civil lawsuits.  About their decision, Craigslist stated “Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services. “
Craigslist has a user flagging system to quickly identify illegal and inappropriate postings. Users may flag postings they believe to be in violation of Craigslist guidelines.
Flagging does not require account login or registration, and can be done anonymously by anyone.  Postings are subject to automated removal when a certain number of users flag them. The number of flags required for a posting’s removal is dynamically variable and remains unknown to all but Craigslist staff.  Some users allege that flagging may also occur as acts of vandalism by groups of individuals at different ISPs, but no evidence of this has ever been shown. Flagging can also alert Craigslist staff to blocks of ads requiring manual oversight or removal. 
Flagging is also done by Craigslist itself (Craigslist’s automated systems) and the posts will never appear on the search results. 
Craigslist includes a barter option in its “for sale” section. This growing trade economy has been documented on the television program Barter Kings and the blog one red paperclip. 
In July 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle criticized Craigslist for allowing ads from dog breeders, stating that this could encourage the over-breeding and irresponsible selling of pit bulls in the Bay Area.  According to Craigslist’s terms of service, the sale of pets is prohibited, though re-homing with small adoption fees is acceptable. 
In January 2006, the San Francisco Bay Guardian published an editorial claiming that Craigslist could threaten the business of local alternative newspapers. 
L. Gordon Crovitz, writing for The Wall Street Journal, criticized the company for using lawsuits “to prevent anyone from doing to it what it did to newspapers”, contrary to the spirit of the website, which bills itself in a “noncommercial nature, public service mission, and noncorporate culture”. 
This article was a reaction to lawsuits from Craigslist which Crovitz says were intended to prevent competition. Craigslist filed a trademark lawsuit against the Swedish luxury marketplace website on July 11, 2012,  forcing the company to rename to JamesEdition.
In 2012, Craigslist sued PadMapper, a site that hoped to improve the user interface for browsing housing ads, and 3Taps, a company that helped PadMapper obtain data from Craigslist, in Craigslist v. 3Taps. This led users to criticize Craigslist for trying to shut down a service that was useful to them. 
In 2001, the company started the Craigslist Foundation,  a § 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers free and low-cost events and online resources to promote community building at all levels. It accepts charitable donations, and rather than directly funding organizations, it produces “face-to-face events and offers online resources to help grassroots organizations get off the ground and contribute real value to the community”.
Since 2004, the Craigslist Foundation has hosted eight annual conferences called Boot Camp, an in-person event that focuses on skills for connecting, motivating and inspiring greater community involvement and impact.
The Craigslist Foundation is also the fiscal sponsor for Our Good Works, the organization that manages, an application that distributes volunteer opportunities across the web and helps people get involved in their communities. 
As of summer 2013, the Craigslist Foundation’s functions are mostly moved to and the is no longer updated. has shut down.  Its website is gone, and its Facebook page has not been updated since 2017.
In popular culture
24 Hours on Craigslist (2005), an American feature-length documentary that captures the people and stories behind a single day’s posts on Craigslist
Due Date shows one of the lead characters, Ethan (Zach Galifianakis), buying marijuana from a dealer through the site.
The Craigslist Killer (January 3, 2011),  a Lifetime made-for-TV movie featuring the story of Philip Markoff, who was accused of robbing and/or murdering several prostitutes he met through Craigslist’s adult services section.
Craigslist Joe (August 2012), a documentary featuring a 29-year-old man living for 31 days solely from donations of food, shelter, and transportation throughout the U. S., found via Craigslist
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016), a comedy based on a real Craiglist ad placed by two brothers who wanted dates for their cousin’s wedding that went viral in February 2013, which they then turned into a book, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: And a Thousand Cocktails. 
The American comedy series Bored to Death revolves around a fictional Jonathan Ames (played by Jason Schwartzman) who posts an ad on Craigslist advertising himself as an unlicensed private detective.
The premise of the sitcom New Girl centers around a girl (Zooey Deschanel) who looks on Craigslist to find new roommates. She misunderstands one of the listings and ends up moving in with three men, when she had intended to find female roommates.
The American television mockumentary comedy sitcom Modern Family in the 10th episode of the third season “Express Christmas” mentions Craigslist when Phil Dunphy played by Ty Burrell buys a signed Joe Dimaggio card for his father-in-law Jay played by Ed ONeill. 
In November 2007, Ryan J. Davis directed Jeffery Self’s solo show My Life on the Craigslist at off-Broadway’s New World Stages.  The show focuses on a young man’s sexual experiences on Craigslist and was so successful that it returned to New York by popular demand in February 2008. 
2008’s Grand Theft Auto IV features a parody of Craigslist called ‘Craplist’, which can be accessed by the player through the game’s in-game internet feature. The player can browse the site and view numerous satirical adverts.
In June 2009, “Weird Al” Yankovic released a song entitled “Craigslist”, which parodied the types of ads one might see on the site. The song was a style parody of The Doors and featured Doors member Ray Manzarek on the keyboards.
In 2006, composer Gabriel Kahane released an album of his satirical art songs for voice and piano, entitled “Craigslistlieder”, using excerpts from real Craigslist ads as text. 
Craigslist received attention in the media in 2011 and 2014 when it was reported that convicted murderers had used the platform to lure their victims. 
The site has been described by Martin Sorrell as “socialistic anarchist”. 
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^ a b Craigslist hookups,, 2009
^ a b College student to launch ‘sex hookup site: It’s safer than CraigList, and cheaper than bars Archived December 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, ABC News
^ Columbus Sex Survey Archived February 4, 2013, at, The Other Paper
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^ a b Risky Sex- and Drug-Seeking in a Probability Sample of Men-for-Men Online Bulletin Board Postings, by Christian Grov
^ a b c d The Hottest Spot Online – The explosively popular-and free-Craigslist attracts both gay men and lesbians by the thousands but the guys and gals aren’t generally looking for the same things, by Ann Rostow. The Advocate.
^ “Craigslist Just Nuked Its Personal Ads Section Because of a Sex-Trafficking Bill”. Motherboard. Vice. March 23, 2018. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
^ “Attorneys general call for Craigslist to get rid of adult services ads”. CNN. August 26, 2010.
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^ Craigslist removes ads for adult services, James Temple, San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 2010
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^ Eichert, David. “‘It Ruined My Life: FOSTA, Male Escorts, and the Construction of Sexual Victimhood in American Politics” (PDF). Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law. 26 (3): 201–245.
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Gale Directory of Company Histories, “craigslist” (2007) online
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Craigslist.
“Why Craigslist Is Such a Mess”. August 24, 2009.
Newman, Lily Hay (January 30, 2015). “Police Stations Increasingly Offer Safe Haven for Craigslist Transactions”. Slate.
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Using the Web to Get Stuff Done: What is Craigslist?
Lesson 4: What is Craigslist?
What is Craigslist?
Craigslist is a website for viewing and posting local advertisements.
It works a lot like the Classifieds section of a newspaper, and it’s completely free to use. You can find a listing for almost anything on Craigslist—jobs, apartments, garage sales, used cars, personal ads, and a whole lot more.
Why use Craigslist? Because you can easily connect with people near you to find, buy, or sell just about anything.
And because it’s free to use, you’ll be able to find things that people might not have bothered listing with a paid classified ad. Many people even post things you can have for free, as long as you’re willing to pick it up.
It’s easy to get started with Craigslist.
Just go to in your web browser. Next, you’ll need to choose your location (or allow Craigslist to use your current location).
This will direct you to the Craigslist page for your region.
In our example, you can see that we’re browsing You may also notice that the Craigslist homepage isn’t very pretty. That doesn’t mean it’s any less usable or trustworthy than other sites on the Web; because most of Craiglist’s content is created by users, the site just doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on its design.
So how do I actually use this site?
You can use Craigslist to find just about anything. In this example, we’ll show you how to buy something on Craigslist.
Choose a category, or use the Search tool.
In our example, we’d like to find a new bike, so we’ll select bikes under the for sale section.
In our opinion, some of the most useful listings on Craigslist can be found in the jobs, housing, and for sale categories. You might find useful postings in some of the other categories, such as community or personal ads, but note that these can be inconsistent—or even a little fishy.
In some cases, you may also need to choose a subcategory.
In this case, we’ll select bikes that are for sale by owner, but we could also look at bikes for sale by dealer or for bike parts and accessories.
Browse, filter, and search your results.
Any relevant postings will appear, much like the results from a search engine. You can then use the filters to narrow your results by price range, location, and more. You can also search within these results for something more specific. If you see something you’re interested in, just click it for more information.
If you find something you want, look for more contact information in the listing.
This will usually be an email address or phone number. Sometimes you may need to click show contact info to view the details.
Send a short, simple message to let the poster know you’re interested.
In this example, your message might look something like this:
“Hi! I saw your listing for the Girls Novara Pixie 20″ bike on Craigslist. I can offer you $100. Is it still available? ”
You should also include a phone number or email address so the seller will be able to return your message.
Complete your transaction, and make sure to do it safely.
If the poster agrees to sell you the item, you’ll need to agree on a time and place to meet. For many, the idea of meeting a stranger and exchanging money is uncomfortable—and maybe even a little scary. However, there are several ways to make sure you can stay safe when completing a transaction through Craigslist:
Meet in a public place during daylight transfer money electronically—most people on Craigslist prefer to use your instincts; if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You can learn more about personal safety on Craigslist here.
OK, so those are just the basics of using Craigslist.
And you can use Craigslist for so much more—finding a place to live, a new job, or just selling some of your old stuff.
The Good, the Bad, the Ugly of Craigslist – GetKidsInternetSafe
Craigslist is the website where Internet users can buy and sell anything. In just a few clicks of the mouse, one can browse advertisements for housing, items for sale, jobs, information forums, help for services, gigs, community events, and even people. Craigslist can be a highly useful tool, but it also has a dark side. I pulled together accounts from reputable publications to inform GKIS readers about Craigslist benefits and its risks. Then I offered some quick tips for staying safe when using Craigslist.
From Hobby to Fortune
In 1995, Craig Newmark started an email program as a hobby. This program allowed him to easily communicate social events to other San Francisco Internet developers. Word of the program grew quickly, and users began posting emails for other purposes like job searching. Due to popular demand, Craig quickly expanded the features of the program, and in only a year, the website, Craigslist, was created.
The website continued to rapidly expand, and in 1999 Craig’s hobby became a full-time job. In 2010, Craig’s net worth was estimated at a staggering 400 million dollars! His website is now available in over seventy countries and is visited over 20 billion times a month (Terynn, 2013).
So Easy, Your Child Can Do It
Craigslist is famously known as “the public online marketplace. ” The website’s user-friendly system and free cost to advertise, draws in 55 million users every month, in the US alone (Usman, 2014). It’s now commonly used by the average American and is a staple for amateur buying and selling.
To access Craigslist, you do not need a user name, personal information, or a credit card. You are free to browse all the content on the website anonymously. If you see an advertisement you like, simply click on the ad, and you will be taken to a page with more detail of the item and a link to the owner.
Creating an ad on craigslist is also easy. Select a category you wish to make an ad for (items for sale, personals, jobs etc. ). Then add a title for your ad, a description of what you are selling, and any personal information for those to reach you (email, phone number, social media, or a home address). Once you have posted the advertisement it is viewable to everybody on the site.
My Experience with Craigslist
I love using Craigslist. I have bought and sold many items using the site, and each transaction has gone smoothly. I have had many welcoming encounters, and I have even become friends with a few people I have met. The website is intuitive and easy to manage, and the free advertisement it provides is amazing. However, like with so many Internet sites, people have found ways to use Craigslist for unanticipated, illegal purposes.
The Dark Side: Scammers, Stalkers, and Setups
Scammers use Craigslist to steal money from unsuspecting victims by placing fraudulent advertisements with incredible deals. Buyers are asked to send money orders or checks online, and after making payment, never receive their item. Scammers also take advantage of those selling items. They do this by sending bad money orders or checks that bounce (Paul, 2013).
In Ohio a man tried to use Craigslist to sell his car. He was thrilled when a man responded to his advertisement wanting to purchase his vehicle. The man claimed to be from South Carolina but was unable to come and pick up the car in person. He asked if the car could be shipped to him, and he would send a check to cover the cost of shipping and the vehicle. The Ohio man agreed, and his customer sent $5, 450. After receiving the money, he paid for the car to be shipped and told the man from South Carolina it was on its way. The next day he checked his bank account, and the funds he had received were no longer good. He tried to contact the man but was unable to and lost $2500 dollars due to the shipping charges (John, 2016).
Stalkers are also using Craigslist to set-up and harass victims. They do this by posting advertisements that may include the victim’s phone number, address, and even photos. The stalker can even pose as the victim through email and send messages to those who respond to the ad. Victims are then targeted by the harassment of unknown strangers.
A woman from Maryland, was horrified when she founds ads posted on craigslist that read, “Rape me and my daughters. ” The ad included her address and photos of her and her daughters. She contacted police, and police found that her ex-husband was responsible for the ads (Justin, 2013).
A bizarre Craigslist story involved a soon-to-be-married couple and an ex-girlfriend (Kelley, 2017). The soon-to-be wife claimed that the ex-girlfriend created a Craigslist advertisement posing as her. In the ad people were asked to come to her house and forcibly rape her. The soon-to-be wife also called the police, claiming that a man had forcibly entered her garage and attempted to rape her. When police arrived, the woman had red marks around her neck and a ripped shirt. Police never found a suspect. However, investigators examined the Internet history of both women. They discovered that the soon-to-be wife had created the advertisement to frame the ex-girlfriend!
Robbery and Sexual Assault
Robberies and assaults are unfortunately quite common on Craigslist. Criminals know that victims are bringing valuable items to meetings and use this knowledge to plan locations where they can easily rob their targets. They also take advantage of trusting and unaccompanied victims.
In Seattle, a woman used the services section of Craigslist. She posted an advertisement asking for someone to fix her broken microwave. A man responded to her ad. When he arrived at her house, she was home alone. He sexually assaulted her and fled the premises (Levi, 2008).
Another story comes from a man who used the personals section of Craigslist. This is a highly controversial section of Craigslist due to its use for soliciting sexual acts. It is illegal to post advertisements soliciting sex on the website, and many are taken down. However, the use of code words has allowed many ads to go undetected (Ed, 2017). In this story the man arrived at an address he had received from the female he had been talking to online. He entered the house and was assaulted and robbed by two men (Levi, 2008).
Child Trafficking and Slavery
Criminals are using Craigslist to make victims sex slaves. One way they do this is by placing advertisements in the “rooms for rent” category. The ads have incredible deals which lure in unsuspecting victims. A woman from Wisconsin responded to an ad that offered free rent for cooking and cleaning. The apartment was in Brooklyn, and when the woman arrived, the man picked her up at the airport. Once at the apartment, the man handcuffed the woman to his radiator and forced her to be his sex slave. After eight days of enslavement she was released. Authorities were contacted and the man was arrested (Irin, 2011).
Children has also been victimized using Craigslist. A father from Texas was arrested and convicted for committing child prostitution and child trafficking. This creep placed ads on Craigslist offering to “come play with daddy’s little girl”. He also tried selling his daughter for one-thousand-dollars (Jeff, 2015).
How to be Craigslist Safe
If the buyer or seller won’t give you their name or phone number or the offer is too good to be true. Abort mission.
Deal with only local people and vet their authenticity by asking for their name and social media handles. Google them to investigate their digital to the seller on the phone. Ask questions about the item to get a feel for the situation. How long have you had it? Are you the original buyer? Why are you selling it? If their information about the item is sketchy, so are they.
Never give personal information about yourself beyond your name and phone number. If they say they need information for a credit check, make sure the situation is legitimate before you agree to anything.
Only meet during daylight and have a buddy with you whether you’re buying or selling. A public meeting place is best.
Make sure your photos don’t contain meta data, like geotagged location of the photo (where predators can track your advertised merchandise to your home).
Cash only. Do not wire money or accept a check, cashier’s check, or money order. It is a common scam to ask you to cash a check that’s made out for more money than you are asking for.
Trust your gut. If the situation doesn’t feel right, end the transaction.
Thank you to CSUCI Intern, Dylan Smithson for informing parents of the potential dangers on Craigslist. The next time you visit the website, use the Craigslist safe tips. Don’t become a craigslist horror story. If you enjoyed reading this article, feel free to share with friends and family, and give us a like on our GetKidsInternetSafe Facebook page.
I’m the mom psychologist who will help you GetKidsInternetSafe.
Onward to More Awesome Parenting,
Tracy S. Bennett, Ph. D.
Mom, Clinical Psychologist, CSUCI Adjunct Faculty
Ed S. (2017) Craigslist Code Words: Do you Know What They Really Mean?
Irin C. (2011) The Disturbing Story of the Craigslist “Sex Slave”
Jeff E. (2015) Shocking Details of Alleged Child Prostitution Case Make Court Onlookers Gasp
John M. (2016) Hamilton man loses $2, 500 to Craigslist Scam
Justin J. (2013) Stalkers use online ads as weapons against victims
Kelley P. (2017) Wife thought to be victim in “rape fantasy” Craigslist case now charged with framing husbands ex-girlfriend
Levi P. (2008) Free and Friendly Craigslist has its dark side
Paul M. (2013) 8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For
Usman A. (2014) Top 10 Countries using Craigslist 2014
Top 10 Countries using Craigslist 2014
Terynn B. (2013) Who is Craig From Craigslist
Who is Craig From Craigslist?
Shady Characters Jason Rogers, CC BY 2. 0
The dark sides Georgie Pauwels, CC BY 2. 0
Come to the Dark Side Holley and Chris Melton, CC BY 2. 0
Craig’s List Clone for Do It With Drupal Jeff Robbins, CC BY 2. 0
Reese, Hacker. Donnie Ray Jones, CC BY 2. 0
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Frequently Asked Questions about craigslist what is it
What is Craigslist good for?
Craigslist is a website for viewing and posting local advertisements. It works a lot like the Classifieds section of a newspaper, and it’s completely free to use. You can find a listing for almost anything on Craigslist—jobs, apartments, garage sales, used cars, personal ads, and a whole lot more.
Why is Craigslist so bad?
The Dark Side: Scammers, Stalkers, and Setups. Scammers use Craigslist to steal money from unsuspecting victims by placing fraudulent advertisements with incredible deals. Buyers are asked to send money orders or checks online, and after making payment, never receive their item.
What is Craigslist and how does it work?
Craigslist is a modern-day community bulletin board, filled with classified ads where you can buy and sell items for free. That’s in contrast to sites like eBay, where the site generally gets a cut of the sale. Posting an item for sale on Craigslist is easy, and you can create an ad in just minutes.Nov 12, 2020